In a video (above) posted on Twitter that has social media users fawning over this intelligent, playful aquatic mammal, a Beluga whale is seen playing fetch with a man on a boat. The video was filmed in Norwegian waters near the Arctic Pole.
The footage shows the whale behaving just as a domesticated pet would, with a clear understanding of what the game is. The internet has found this to be both a rare and an incredibly charming sight. Many are wondering if this video is of the same whale, first sighted some time in May 2019, who has been dubbed “Hvaldimir” on account of its alleged Russian heritage.
Hvaldimir was found with a camera harness marked “St Petersburg,” and has since been very friendly for a Beluga whale, seeking the attention of Norwegian boats. He seems extremely comfortable with, and possibly even prefers, human interaction.
Spy or not, the videos of this playful whale have been popping up all over the internet and enjoyed by many. Hvaldimir has previously been known to fetch and return a dropped cellphone from the ocean, and befriend a seagull (even returning a fish the seagull dropped).
Here are some of the online responses to his latest game of catch.